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Northern Ireland is no one’s backstop
The treatment of Northern Ireland in the context of the negotiations between the EU and the UK has shown the inconsistency of the EU’s position with regard to nationalism.
The EU rightly condemned Crimea’s secession from Ukraine and reunification with Russia. This was not so much because the referendum that led to this secession was held under dubious circumstances. Crimean secession would have been condemned even if the vote had been completely free and fair. The reason is that Crimea is a part of a sovereign nation state called Ukraine and parts of sovereign nation states may not legally secede without permission.
This position was reiterated with regard to Catalonia. It simply did not matter whether a majority in Catalonia wanted independence or whether they didn’t. So long as Spain refuses to allow a legal referendum on independence and refuses to recognise the right of Catalonians to create a sovereign nation state, then Catalonia will remain legally a part of Spain.
There are similar examples all over the world. The right of a sovereign nation state to maintain its territorial integrity is insurmountable so long as it does not oppress or attack the people living in part of its territory. It was only because Serbia attacked the people in Kosovo that international opinion was willing to make an exception and grant the right of Kosovo to become independent.
International opinion has also favoured the right of colonies to become independent, but it is important to recognise what is and what is not a colony. Argentina was a Spanish colony. Catalonia is not a Spanish colony. If you really can’t see the difference, you might benefit from a pair of glasses. If Catalonia were to be described as a colony, then half of Europe would have a colonial relationship to the other half.
The peculiar thing about Northern Ireland then is that the EU is unwilling to treat it in the same way as it treated Catalonia and Crimea. Northern Ireland is not a colony. Some Irish nationalists, thereby making the case for Ulster unionism, still speak of the people of Northern Ireland as settlers having been planted there. But if we treat everyone whose ancestors moved somewhere in the fifteenth century as illegitimate colonists then we are liable to end up thinking that virtually the whole population of the United States of America has no right to live where they do.
Northern Ireland is an integral part of the sovereign nation state called the United Kingdom. The Republic of Ireland has no more legitimate claim to a part of that nation state than Russia has a claim to Crimea. It simply does not matter that Crimea was once a part of Russia. Nor does it matter if the majority of the population of Crimea think of themselves as Russian, speak Russian and would like to secede from Ukraine. Crimean secession would be illegal even if all these things were true. It is for this reason that nearly the whole world continues to protest against Russia’s annexation of the territory of a neighbouring state.
But this argument obviously ought to apply equally to Northern Ireland. When the 26 counties chose to secede from the United Kingdom, Northern Ireland remained. It indeed has never left the United Kingdom. Secession doesn’t give you the right to claim someone else’s territory, otherwise the Confederacy if it had won would have had the right to claim New York. For this reason the Republic of Ireland has no more claim on the territory of the United Kingdom than does Russia with regard to the territory of Ukraine. Indeed it has less for Northern Ireland was never part of a sovereign nation state called the Republic of Ireland.
There are various treaties that exist between the UK and Ireland, which allow both the people of Northern Ireland and the people of the Republic to hold votes regarding Northern Ireland’s status, but the UK as a sovereign nation state can choose to renounce or renegotiate any treaty that it pleases. Lots of historical treaties have become obsolete, have been broken, or simply no longer apply. The UK therefore could decide that such treaties that currently exist between itself and Ireland were obtained by coercion as a result of terrorism and were therefore inconsistent with the British Government’s longstanding policy of not appeasing terrorists.
It could also argue that the Irish Government has used the existence of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement to hinder British foreign policy (Brexit) and that the Irish Government is using this agreement to further its policy of gradually annexing Northern Ireland.
The purpose of the Irish backstop is to put Northern Ireland into the Republic’s sphere of influence and to show that while the border between the Republic and Northern Ireland is seamless the border between Northern Ireland and Great Britain may become real. Checks may be required. British goods and citizens may in effect be moving from the non-EU to the EU when they travel from Great Britain to Northern Ireland.
Could such a border exist between Catalonia and the rest of Spain? Obviously not. Spain would not accept it, because it would encourage Catalan secession. Would any other sovereign nation state in the EU accept such a regulatory border? No. This is the sort of thing that a sovereign nation state goes to war to prevent happening. If you don’t fight for your territorial integrity, what do you fight for?
No-one is going to impose a hard border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The British are not going to do it, nor are the Irish, nor are the EU. But the Irish Republic has used this non-issue to further its irredentist and quite illegitimate claim to Northern Ireland and it has done so with the backing of the EU. This alone must be grounds for the UK Government reviewing the Belfast Agreement. It is quite intolerable that, backed by terrorist threats, the Irish Government seeks to move towards a position where it can call for a referendum on Irish unification. This is no better than Russia using military force to win a referendum in order to justify its claim to Crimea.
It is time for the UK, just like Spain and Ukraine and indeed the vast majority of states in the world, to assert that our territory is indivisible. Secession and annexation is no more legitimate a foreign policy goal in Ireland than it is Ukraine. The Republic of Ireland has no more claim to the territory of another sovereign nation state than does Haiti have a claim to the Dominican Republic. The mere fact that you share an island does not allow you to steal another person’s home.
The EU’s hypocrisy on this issue is dangerous for stability in Europe. In attempting to punish Britain by furthering the aims of Irish nationalism it will encourage such nationalism elsewhere in Europe. Why shouldn’t Russia seek to reunify what was once “All the Russias” including parts of what is now the EU such as Poland and the Baltic States. If reunification is a morally worthy goal for Ireland, why not for Austria, Russia or dare I say it, Germany. No doubt Austrian, German and Russian nationalists would be delighted to go back to their 1914 borders.
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It is worthy of note that when Eire CHOSE to leave these United Kingdoms, it did so in breech of all previous agreements yet it now claims Britain must comply with its masters diktat in the EU and obey rules that Eire’s masters want complied with! How would this have suited Eire in 1921?
In 1921 Northern Ireland CHOSE to remain in the UK. Eire left in the very clear knowledge that the 6 Counties of Northern Ireland would by choice remain in the UK. However that seems to be a fact that gets in the way of Ireland’s dishonest propaganda much of the time, it seems they want to write history to suit their mythology rather than deal in facts – just as does Scotland so frequently quoting Braveheart as if it was historical fact rather than an American populist adventure story drawing on Scotland’s story in small areas.
Laughably Eire promotes the fantasy that the Six Counties comprising Northern Ireland were stolen by the British and forced to remain in the UK under British occupation. Irland’s story in an utter corruption of the principles of Democracy akin to the mockery their masters in the EU make of democracy with their corrupt forcing of second votes when the people vote against the ambitions of the unelected bureaucrats who are the core of the EU committee dictatorship.
It is unfortunate, but unsurprising, to see The Belfast Agreement, downgraded in name to suit Irish Catholics to being called the good friday agreement, being exploited & deliberately misinterpreted to suit Eire’s EU masters. Where pray in The Belfast Agreement is there reference to hard, soft or even floppy borders between Eire & the UK, of which Northern Ireland chose to be a part.
Irish clamouring about borders has no connection to The Belfast Agreement and wanting the UK to honour that, it is about protecting the EU Single Market.
A good deal for the UK is a good deal for NI, even if it means leaving without a formal EU deal. I support, in general, the aims of The Belfast Agreement but it has been sabotaged, seemingly deliberately, by the manner in which Ireland and the EU have abused it, to their own ends, therefore I don’t believe it can survive in its present form.
Eire due to its lack of markets, limited economy, feudal landlords & lack of a clear National structure or dependable defence force was historicly colonised as a part of these United Kingdoms, much was achieved by intermarriage!
In 1921 when Eire withdrew from the UK, Northern Ireland chose to remain, a decision reconfirmed by democratic votes subsequently. It is not just a myth but an outright lie that Northern Ireland did not “choose” to stay in the UK but was with-held by the UK govt. Had it suited theBritish Government & we had the lack of ethics we see in Ireland & the EU we could have denied Northern Ireland their democratic rights and made them vote again and again until they could be forced to join Eire!
Alternately we could have colluded with Ireland and arbitrarily betrayed the peoples of the Six Counties and surrendered them to Irish control and abuse, as happened in Palestine where the indigenous peoples were betrayed and disposessed and are now under the heel of Zionism and under the abuse of being all but enslaved in an open prison behind 50 foot walls and military confinment.
Yet Ireland has the timerity to tell Britain what borders it may or may not have!
Perhaps Eire should be minded: the problem when you are a small, dependent “region” of a larger state dominated by other countries of little ethical standards, oppressed by Roman Law and bereft of meaningful democratic standards. If you become a nuisance and financial and/or diplomatic liability, you are expendable both politically and economically. You have little say in your own future. As Eire learned when it voted against the EU Constitution and was ordered to vote again for The Lisbon Treaty!
Do remember how Eire CHOSE to leave the UK and the irrefutable fact Northern Ireland most certainly did CHOOSE to remain in the UK. It was made abundantly clear on 28-Sep-1921 what Ulster’s (NI’s) view was on Home Rule, and that stance was repeated on a number of occasions.
Carson made it very clear in the House of Lords speeches on 14-Dec-1921 what would happen if the Treaty was ratified by Parliament i.e. that NI would use the opt out clause. Those speeches by the other Lords make it clear they wanted Ireland as a whole to form the new, single government of (the whole of) Ireland. True to Carson’s word, NI used the opt out clause within 24 hours of the Treaty taking effect on 06-Dec-1922. NI might be expendable, but that does not change the facts of what happened in 1921/22.
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With an avg. 1.2M voters per MEP & Britain with 16% of EU GDP and 13% of the EU’s population yet having only 8% (if united) say, whilst holding less than 3% of the various offices within the EU Do note The EUropean Parliament has no ability to make policy and has a Commission of unelected bureaucrats, thus clearly the EU is not even a pretence of being a democracy despite its protestations!Do note that many senior apparatchicks and even elected politicians speak openly of the ‘Post Democratic era’ with no sense of shame or irony and in complete contempt of the so called electorate – yet The EU & many of its vassal States/Regions are all too willing to slaughter people in Sovereign States, to impose The EU’s chosen brand of democracy on them!
Now as President Junker announced in his ‘State of the union’ speech 2017 the aim is to create an EU military force and centralise ever more of the decision making and control!
The imposition of a Government and policies upon its vassal regions such as the peoples of Greece shows just how far from being a democracy the EU is.
Just follow the recent EU display of so called ‘Democracy’:
France and the Netherlands voted against the proposed EU constitution in 2005, only to have those votes ignored.
Ireland voted against ratifying the Lisbon treaty in 2008, but then later under pressure & threats had to change its mind.
Greece for me was the final straw. It became clear in 2015 that it didn’t matter which way the Greek people voted. The birthplace of democracy had become its tomb. That was enough. I was going to vote to leave the EU when the chance came.
No political party of any significance in Britain took active steps to achieve a Referendum – the task was eventually taken by an Indipendent West Midlands MEP Nikki Sinclaire who personally launched and funded the gathering of a petition of 225,000 signatures delivered to Parliament via Downing Street, thus forcing a debate in the House of Commons on an IN/OUT Referendum, which led to David Cameron’s first consequential rebellion.
It was due to winning that debate, officially opposed by every party including Ukip that David Cameron was forced to include a promise of an IN/OUT Referendum in the Tory Manifesto at the next General Election. The rest is history & despite no Parliamentary Party backing the OUT vote & Government spending Millions of Pounds of public money leafletting & promoting ‘Project Fear’ to try to persuade the British people to Remain just as they had at the first Referendum in 1975 – This time their lies and threats were not heeded and in the largest vote in British history Britain voted by a clear majority to Leave.
Nikki Sinclaire’s OUT result left Cameron & his co conspirator Osborne with no option but to resign, sadly some of the other traitors have remained to try to hinder progress to BreXit, aided by their corrupt allies in the EU and \eu funding and bribes!
There will be little or no change in Britain’s economic position, if we leave the EU, using a better negotiated, customised & updated version of the ‘Norway Model’ as a stepping stone to becoming a full member of the Eropean Economic Area, where all will benefit, as we secure trade relations with the EU’s vassal regions, with an EFTA style status and can trade and negotiate independently on the global stage, as members of The Commonwealth and the Anglosphere.
This is of course dependent on a modicum of intelligence on the part of Britain’s politicians and negotiators but it also requires the integrity of Parliament to uphod democracy and the integrity of EU politicuians & apparchicks to act ethically and without their normal vindictive mallice.
I believe Leaving the EU will be turned into something of a rough ride by the ignorant and the corrupt but I have no doubt that in the long run Leaving the EU will prove conclusively to be in the best interests of Britain and our true allies. I also believe that Britain leaving the EU will prove to be the catalyst to great changes within the EU and hopefully its democratisation as without great changes it is indubitably doomed.
Do not overlook the fact that politicians have plotted and schemmed since the 1950s and we have actually been vassals of the EU, when it was still using the aesopian linguistics and calling itself The Common Market in the early 1970s, a name the bureaucrats arbitrarily changed to EUropean Union in the early 1990s as they worked towards their long term goals of an ever closer centrally controlled Political and economic Union with its own anthem, currency, flag and rigid central control by its self appointed bureacrats towards a new Empirate –
It will take many years to rectify the mess our political class got us into and we have no other peacefull means by which to extricate ourselves than to depend on that self same self styled elite, who all too often forget they work for us!
One huge benefit of BreXit will be that we can negotiate with bodies like the WTO, UN, WHO, IMF, CODEX and the like, directly, in our own interest and that of our partners around the world, in both the Commonwealth and the Anglosphere at large; rather than having negotiations and terms imposed by unelected EU bureacrats and their interpretation of the rules handed down, as if they were some great achievement of the EU’s!The greatest change and benefit will be political, as we improve our democracy and self determination, with the ability to deselect and elect our own Government, with an improved Westminster structure, see >Harrogate Agenda<.
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Greg Lance – Watkins
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